Samar Badawi receiving the 2012 International Women of Courage award from first lady Michelle Obama and  secretary of state Hillary Clinton. File photograph:  Gary Cameron/Reuters

Saudi Arabian authorities have detained two prominent women activists, Samar Badawi and Nassima al-Saadeh, and have been holding them incommunicado si(...)

Dr Samira al-Ghamdi (47), a practicing psychologist, drives around the side roads of a neighborhood as she prepared to hit the road on Sunday as a licensed driver, in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Photograph: Zohra Bensemra/Reuters

As of yesterday, women are legally allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia for the first time. It’s an important symbolic milestone, but hopes that the kingd(...)

Saudi Arabia crown prince Mohammad bin Salman, Fifa president Gianni Infantino and Russian president Vladimir Putin  in Moscow on Thursday. Photograph:  Alexei Druzhinin/Sputnik/EPA

Sport and politics shouldn’t mix, goes the earnest cliché. Except they do – all the time. And that’s partly what makes some sports so interesting. The(...)

Mohammad bin Salman,  Fifa president Gianni Infantino and Russian president Vladimir Putin at the World Cup opening ceremony. Photograph: Alexei  Druzhinin/EPA

Saudi Arabia’s crown prince Mohammed bin Salman appeared in public on Thursday for the first time since mid-April at the opening of the World Cup in M(...)

Workers unload wheat provided by Unicef at Hodeidah: the Red Sea port  is a key entry point for aid to war-torn Yemen. Photograph: Abdo Hyder/AFP/Getty

UN relief and humanitarian agencies have warned that an offensive against Houthi rebels holding Yemen’s Red Sea port of Hodeidah could kill and maim 2(...)

 Iranian MPs burn a US flag in the parliament in Tehran following  US president Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the nuclear accord. Photograph: AFP

US president Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran has undermined reformist president Hassan Rouhani and reinvigorate(...)

Saudi Arabia’s crown prince Mohammad bin Salman is welcomed by British PM Theresa May on the first of his three-day visit to the UK. Photograph: Victoria Jones/PA

The first overseas tour undertaken by Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman was intended as a “charm offensive” but has sparked controversy in the tw(...)

An anti-corruption drive started by Saudi Arabia’s defence minister Prince Mohamed bin Salman has led to more than  200  arrests.  Photograph: Getty

Palestinian billionaire Sabih al-Masri, who also holds Irish citizenship, has been released from detention in Saudi Arabia after being caught up in th(...)

 French president Emmanuel Macron: France has sold €12 billion in weapons to Saudi Arabia over the past decade, and €8 billion worth to Qatar. The sale of up to a dozen more Rafale fighter jets may be announced in Doha. Photograph:  Charles Platiau/EPA

French president Emmanuel Macron will travel to Algiers on Wednesday, then fly on to the Qatari capital Doha. The two countries are at opposite ends o(...)

 Russian president Vladimir Putin and Syrian president Bashar al-Assad hug at a meeting in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Russia on Monday. Photograph: Mikhail Klimentyev, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP

A surprise meeting on Monday between Russian president Vladimir Putin and his Syrian counterpart Bashar al-Assad demonstrated both that Assad remains (...)

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